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No Students Signing Up For HBA Scholarship

February 22, 2014, 5:55 PM by Leland Steva

No Students Signing Up For HBA Scholarship

As buildings pop up across Sioux Falls there comes a need for construction workers. The Home Builders Association of the Sioux Empire is offering six scholarships, each worth $1,000, but no one is jumping at the opportunity.

Before construction workers set up the foundation of a home, they usually start their education foundation in the classroom. The Homebuilders Association of the Sioux Empire is trying to help that foundation, but no graduated seniors have signed up.

"I just found we had zero applications," Southeast Tech Professor Jeff Schlepp said.

Jeff Schlepp is a professor at Southeast Tech and works on the committee that selects the recipient of the scholarships. He says the applicants vary every year, but they never had nobody apply.

"Maybe the biggest problem is the fact that the high school instructors and counselors really need to connect with the parents and let the parents realize that there is a big need in the construction field," Schlepp said.

Jarrod Smart received the scholarship, and he used it for the three big things for a student in the construction business.

"Books, tuition and tools," Jarrod Smart said.

But it helped him more than just financially.

"Through filling out the scholarship application, it really made me think through how do I plan to impact the Sioux Falls area with construction or through construction," Smart said.

Smart has owned his own construction company for over a decade. He is surprised with the lack of interest in the trades field, and he says that with the building boom in Sioux Falls, good workers are hard to find.

"Right now I think with things being so busy in the Sioux Falls area especially, it seems like labor is thin," Smart said.

And Schlepp says that if you get into the field, with a scholarship or not, you have a good job of landing a job once you get your degree.

"A number of my students already have jobs that will be graduating in May," Schlepp said.

The deadline for the application is April 1.

To apply click here.

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